How To Choose a Therapist

Michael Dadson Ph.D. Counsellor operates his clinic out of Brookswood, Langley, BC.

See Dr. Michael Dadson’s YouTube Videos at

Why Therapy Can Be Helpful

Sometimes our level of dissatisfaction, anxiety, grief, depression, or PTSD symptoms do not seem to get better in spite of our efforts to pull ourselves out of a slump. In these cases, therapy can not only be very helpful, but it can change our lives, so we become happier and more productive and experience a deeper sense of purpose and meaning. In order for this shift to take place we need to choose the right professional. In fact, research shows the quality of the therapeutic relationship is the most important factor contributing to growth and change, and is more important than the theoretical orientation or interventions. So how do we choose? Online searches help and certainly personal recommendations for a clinic are also a great start, but eventually the best indicator will that first session. What to look for?

What To Expect In The First Session

Building Trust with your Therapist

If the therapist gives advice, or too quickly thinks they have identified the “problem” or the “problem person”, or has the cure, these are indicators of a therapist taking up too much space with their own perspectives. Through the qualities that build trust, the therapist creates the space for the client to express, feel, and see themselves. If in that first session you discover the therapist is not a good fit, don’t give up. If the first person you visit is not a fit consider this experience can be helpful identifying what you don’t want. Keep going in your search, and don’t let a poor or bad first experience discourage you.

The Types Of Therapy

If we change the way we think about things, then the way we feel can change. Conversely, if we change the way we feel about things then the way we think can change. Cognitive therapy is evidence based and explores with the client how the way we think can change how we feel. Emotionally focused therapy is evidenced based and experiences with the client how the way we feel can change how we think. These are two approaches, but what is most important is not the theory rather it is how it is applied. What is most important for individual mental health is, ‘where the client is at in the process of their growth’, and their ‘in the moment process of change’.

Insights Into Behaviour

What Research Has Shown Us About Therapy

Guiding Principles In Therapy

• All people possess intrinsic worth and have the capacity to realize this.

• All individuals are worthy of respect. The therapy space is one of acceptance and safety. Gender,race, sexual orientation, age, religion, relationship and family status pose no barrier to the therapy process.

• Everyone has the capacity to grow and change; readiness depends on each individual.

• Clients are the experts of their experience and take responsibility for their gains in counselling and for their personal successes; the counsellor’s role is that of attune, facilitate and guide.

• Understanding comes first. If we jump prematurely to tools and strategies, clients are left with generic, depersonalized interventions.

• Most people benefit from counselling at some point in their lives. This includes counsellors too!

At its best, counselling is a healthy dialogue that identifies, promotes, and mobilizes clients’ strengths to reach personal goals.

#depression #anxiety #mentalhealth #trauma #PTSD #Brookswood #Langley #counselling #psychology #clinic #eatingdisorder #michaeldadson


Male Depression: Michael Dadson, PhD on Therapy for Men

Treating Depression & Anxiety: Michael Dadson, PhD on Treating Depression

What Couples Really Want: Michael Dadson, PhD on Couples on Couples, Relationship and Family Therapy

PTSD in Veterans & First Responders: Michael Dadson, PhD on PTSD Therapy



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store


Michael Dadson, Ph.D.-Registered Clinical Counselor for more than 20 years. Dr. Dadson is a member of the BC Clinical Counsellors Association #michaeldadson